International students thrive in AdPR’s 3+1+1 program

Students smile in front of Grady College.
Lina Chen, Yuwen Chen and Ansley Zhao are in the third cohort of the 3+1+1 dual degree program. (Photo: Jin Lee)

International students thrive in AdPR’s 3+1+1 program

February 28, 2024

Grady College’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations welcomed the third cohort of 3+1+1 dual degree students in fall 2023. In partnership with Shanghai Normal University and Shanghai International Studies University, this program offers students the opportunity to complete both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in just five years. Upon finishing three years of studies at their home university, students enrolled in this collaborative program take one year of coursework at the University of Georgia to receive their bachelor’s degree from their home university. An additional year will earn students a master’s degree from the University of Georgia. Three students — Lina Chen, Yuwen Chen and Ansley Zhao — reflect on their experiences in the Classic City.

Why did you decide to pursue the 3+1+1 program at the University of Georgia?

Ansley: This is a unique opportunity for me to study and live in a completely different country and culture for a relatively long time. UGA is a highly reputable university and has outstanding academic achievements and research opportunities in advertising and public relations. Also, this is a very efficient program that allows me to achieve a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.

Lina: When choosing my major in my sophomore year, I was hesitant between broadcasting and advertising, but I finally chose broadcasting according to my interest. I have always been interested in advertising and public relations, so this program allowed me to get a deep understanding of the field and gain professional skills. Grady College is well known in the United States, which gives me more options for future employment. I have always wanted to study abroad and experience diverse cultures, and this program has given me a great opportunity to do so.

Yuwen: Previously, I took a course that required us to design and promote a brand. Given this course, I gained a deeper understanding and interest in this field, so I wanted to study it in depth at the University of Georgia. Here, I study brand management, customer analysis, market research and communications. Grady strives to prepare students to become creative problem solvers, writers and decision-makers. There is no doubt that this program will greatly help me to develop a critical understanding of the institutions, processes and influences of mass communication, all of which are essential and indispensable to modern communication.

How will this program benefit your future academic and professional pursuits?

Ansley: I wish to pursue a doctoral degree after I graduate and become a professor, so this program lays a solid foundation for my path forward. I have met with renowned and supportive professors who have exposed me to many research opportunities in advertising and public relations.

Lina: This program requires me to read a lot of literature and supplemental materials. At first, reading a lot of text in a second language is very painful. Through a semester of persistence, my English reading ability improved greatly, and I became more focused. Of course, my English improved as well. In addition, UGA pursues academic honesty and has rigorous requirements for writing materials. These excellent qualities are not only helpful for future academics but also for personal development.

Yuwen: The strength of faculty, teaching quality and alumni resources were all alluring to me. The integrated advertising and public relations master’s program will serve me well in my career path to becoming a marketing and public relations specialist.

Of the classes you have taken at Grady College, which class has been your favorite?

Ansley: Dr. Nicholas Eng’s public relations foundation class! This course unveiled the world of public relations to me and was one of the reasons that I wish to continue my academic journey in the field. He understands that students come from different backgrounds and makes everyone feel respected and engaged during his class.

Lina: My favorite course is advertising and communication management In this course, we read cases and gave solutions to companies. I prefer practice to theory. Therefore, bringing myself into the perspective of an advertiser or agency in the course was interesting and gave me some practical perspective. In addition, after each presentation, there was a Q&A session, and I gradually improved my public speaking and confidence.

Yuwen: Advertising and communication management was one of my favorite courses last semester. It challenged me to think critically and creatively about real-world advertising problems and solutions. I enjoyed working in groups and presenting our case analyses to the class.

What are some memorable experiences you have had on campus?

Ansley: I went to four home football games in the fall. I don’t completely understand all of the rules, but I truly love the vibe. I also loved the Halloween event last year. It was so fun to see all my professors and classmates show up at school with different costumes.

Lina: One of my favorite experiences at Grady College was AdPR Connection. This was a great networking opportunity for Grady students. I learned a lot about industry trends and future development in advertising and public relations.

Yuwen: Attending UGA International Student Life’s orientation was a valuable and enjoyable experience for me. I learned a lot about the academic expectations, campus resources and immigration regulations that are relevant to my studies in the U.S. I met my best friend at orientation. The leaders answered all my questions and gave me helpful suggestions on adjusting to the new environment. It was a great start to my journey at UGA. I also like the lunch and learn lectures where students and teachers can have dessert and discuss different topics together. I think it is a great initiative that combines learning and socializing in a fun and relaxed way. also appreciate the opportunity to interact with teachers and students from different disciplines and backgrounds.

Do you have any mentors or favorite professors?

Ansley: Dr. Juan Meng is my academic advisor, and she is always caring and supportive, giving me constructive advice on my academic path forward. Dr. Eng is the person who introduced me to the world of public relations and is part of the reason why I decided to pursue this path. Dr. Yan Jin always encourages me to express my opinions and ideas.

Lina: My favorite professor is Dr. Eng. He not only has excellent professionalism but also a great sense of humor. Moreover, he attaches great importance to DEI in the classroom. When providing examples to explain the knowledge in the textbook, he often gives cases with Chinese brands and asks classmates about situations local to their culture. This increases the richness of the class and gives us a global perspective.

Yuwen: My favorite professor is Dr. Eng. I enjoy his class because he is humorous and interesting. His genuine care and support create a positive classroom environment where I feel comfortable expressing myself.

Ansley Zhao joins UGA from Shanghai Normal University, and both Lina Chen and Yuwen Chen are from Shanghai International Studies University. 

Editor: Jin Lee |